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The Power of Music and Dementia

Have you tried different types of music with your loved one with dementia?

As a Recreation Therapist, I have witnessed the incredible power of music when working with people with dementia. By watching facial expressions, you can learn a lot about how someone feels about different genres of music or even how they feel about a particular song. The following video explains the process to help you, as a caregiver, provide therapeutic music for your loved one. Think about how music makes you feel; how it might calm or agitate you, how it might make you cry or might bring the biggest smile to your face. What you play for your loved one can have a big impact on their behavior.

Music can have the same powerful effect on people with dementia. This video will help you to find the right type of music for your loved one and teach you how you can provide it for them.

A true success story: I was providing headphones and music to a patient recently. Another patient, who rarely spoke, noticed me giving the music to the person then said, "Can I have music?" I gathered another headset and provided the patient with music after asking her about music interests. Over the next two days, I lent her the headphones and music and noticed her often smiling (I never saw her smile prior to the music). The third morning when I went into her room she had the biggest smile on her face. I said, "What's changed? I love the smiles! Why are you smiling so much?" She simply said, "Music".



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